Sport Racing Melham to make most of Plate opportunity

Melham to make most of Plate opportunity

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The jockey who rode Black Caviar in her first Group One win has designs on capitalising on another rider’s misfortune in the Cox Plate.

Ben Melham rides Puissance De Lune in Saturday’s $3 million race at Moonee Valley in identical circumstances to the first and only time he rode Black Caviar.

He filled in for a suspended Luke Nolen when Black Caviar won the 2010 Patinack Farm Classic and says he is in an enviable position to do it again.

This time he takes over from Glen Boss, Puissance De Lune’s regular jockey who is serving a suspension out of the Caulfield Cup.

“It would be a dream come true if it did happen,” Melham said.

“But I’m certainly on the right horse to make it happen.”

The Darren Weir-trained Puissance De Lune is expected to put in a peak performance on Saturday after winning the P.B Lawrence Stakes and finishing runner-up in the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes and Turnbull Stakes in two of his other three spring outings.

The horse is yet to win a Group One but Melham is bullish about his prospects after partnering the grey galloper in trackwork for the first time this week.

He said it was “a huge thrill” to get the opportunity.

“It’s the sort of stuff that as a jockey coming through the ranks you dream of getting on a live hope in big races,” Melham said.

“He’s probably going to nearly go around as favourite and I worked him the other morning and he gave me an exceptional feel.

“His action was faultless and he’s in the right hands.”

Melham said how he rides Puissance De Lune would depend on how the track was racing during the two-day Moonee Valley carnival.

The entire will appreciate give in the track, which he should get despite an upgrade on Thursday.

Melham said he wasn’t feeling any pressure in the lead up to one of the spring majors.

“I don’t really feel pressure too much, but in saying that I’ve never been on a Cox Plate favourite,” he said.

“I’m OK now and hopefully it’s the same Cox Plate day.”